Fasting after a feast

After spending two weeks in the Dominican Republic I came back to my home in New Zealand. The trip was short but like all moments resumed after elapsed time, a few things had changed.

Walking up the driveway I immediately noticed differences in the friend who greeted me there. He was thinner. His skin was clearer. Still, his eyes and spirit were as lively as before.

“I've been drinking only water for the past ten days”, he said enthusiastically, “and I feel good.” Even with Thanksgiving dinner the next night, he had no plans to relent.

I soon learned he was not alone. During my absence, many of my friends had started fasting or juicing for various lengths of time. I suddenly found myself following step when a friend at the Thanksgiving dinner party asked if I would fast with him the next day…

This is what it was like:

  1. Excitement and commitment were the first emotions I felt, ready to start a new challenge.
  2. The next morning I drank lemon water and felt okay, probably still satiated from Thanksgiving.
  3. Around lunch time the grumbles came and as the afternoon continued I became irritable. I felt okay physically but it seemed my brain could not rationalize why I would not eat.
  4. Anger and lack of focus set in later in the day. It took me longer to work and I found myself starting but hardly finishing tasks.
  5. Weakness of my body and thoughts came by dinner time. It felt like a strong wind could push me over and thoughts like “I can eat now” tempted my mind.
  6. Elation was the emotion I felt at the end of the day, with the thought that I could fall sleep at any point and resume eating upon waking.
  7. During the night I tossed and turned with thoughts of food.
  8. The next morning I felt more hunger than the entire day before. As soon as I sipped a breakfast smoothie I felt the sensation of blood flowing into my veins again.
  9. The next three days I did a smoothie-only detox. In the following days I gradually incorporated solids into my diet, escalating from raw salads to soups to nuts, beans and eggs.
  10. The results were a leaner body, some amazing runs after four days without, clear and glowing skin (though it got worse before getting better), a sharper focus and strengthened will power.
Only after my day without food I learned it might not have been enough. Some argue the greatest benefits begin only by day three. 

Nevertheless, I see and feel changes physically and mentally. Most of all, I have a greater appreciation for food as nourishment. I have continued until now, a week later, without food processed or packaged outside my kitchen.

The biggest change of all is I consistently consume and crave less—an all too familiar lesson resounding more and more in my life. Now I can truly say, all good changes start with one day.

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